This is the month in which we celebrate women, and we do so for many reasons. Women are the Mothers of all children and the ones they said in days gone by, who stand firmly behind every successful man. Today, of course, many women are leaders themselves not only of massive corporate enterprises but nations.
As a woman CEO in a large corporate travel business, I not only want to honour women at this time but obviously can totally identify with what women often go through to rise to good positions. In this Woman’s month, it also got me to thinking about why so many women are great Travel Professionals.
Natural female skills
There are, of course, a few natural abilities that women have that assist them with being very good at their jobs in this industry. As one who is expected to be wife, mother, lover, best friend and more often than not a working mom too, one could say women need to be pretty versatile.
Versatility is one of the most essential skills in arranging and ensuring the smooth flow of travel bookings and schedules. Focus on more than one aspect of the business is crucial. Travel Professionals need to combine people skills with technological skills, organisational and administrative skills, learning to communicate and coordinate them all.
It is little wonder then that this type of position is generally better left to one who has natural multi-tasking abilities. The Travel Professional knows only too well what it means to keep many balls in the air at once – and ‘dropping the ball’ is never an option.
Nurturing and partnerships
It is a well-known fact that generating business today is not done on the basis of ‘selling’ your business, but rather through engendering trust and building relationships with clients and customers.
Social media, now the largest form of marketing, is built on people communicating with each other. Prolific bloggers become ‘Thought leaders’, and ‘Influencers’ and these are the people that affect the buying decisions.
Women, with natural empathy and a more astute awareness of the importance of intimate communication, are great at building relationships. This stands them in great stead when it comes to their corporate entity partnering with their customers. They nurture relationships built with clients and go for longevity rather than the ‘quick kill’ generally preferred by male counterparts.
They are passionate about travel
I can’t be held to account on this, but my guess would be if you asked every young woman entering the travel industry why they were doing so, most would say “I want to travel!’
As time goes on their opinions on this may change and after many years of corporate travel they may not see this as being so glamorous, but many of the world’s top female Travel company founders and CEOs see the importance of travel and their passion for it has had a great influence on their achievements.
Rachel Sales and Jaclyn Mishal, who created Pink Pangea, an online community for women who love to travel said “it’s important that women have the opportunity to get out of their comfort zones and explore the world. When we travel, we not only challenge our preconceptions about other cultures, but we also learn more about ourselves. We become stronger individuals who can face challenges and appreciate great opportunities that come our way.”
They are resilient
Finally, but certainly not least, Women without any doubt are incredibly resilient. They live longer and build longer-term relationships. Women, in general, are like the proverbial ‘dog with a bone’ once their minds are set on the task at hand.
This is exactly why, in an industry so full of changes and challenges, where stiff competition and uncertainties prevail and where the unexpected happens every day, so many women are – and always will be – great Travel Professionals!LIDIA FOLLI
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER